While everyone's getting excited about the TV debut of the near mythical The Walking Dead comic book character Negan (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan), there is a slight problem: motherfucker loves the swears. And, while I can do it here, AMC has slightly different rules.
Take for example this panel from the books, which probably expresses the character's precise feelings about one option: not swearing at all...
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly several of the show's producers and comic book creator Robert Kirkman have been discussing potential ways around the problem. Let's start with showrunner and executive producer Scott Gimple: "My goal is that people will be able to get full-octane Negan. Might not be all the time, and it might not even be directly through your TV box. I’m still playing around with it, but I will say I do have the material two ways right now. I’ll see what I can do with it. Will I be able to shoot every scene like that? Probably not, but to tell you the truth, I think we will get as close to the version of full-octane Negan as we can through some version of the show or another.”
So, in what version will we have "full-octane Negan" if TV dilution is unavoidable? Well, via a Blu-ray extra is currently looking most likely. It's something the show's done before and appears to be creator Kirkman's current choice: “There are certain words that, try as I might, we are not allowed to say on AMC, and those are certain words that Negan likes to say. So those words are going to be filmed, and people are going to be able to get those words, but there are definitely some broadcast limitations that we’re going to have to deal with. We’re sorting that out now, but I will say that, worst-case scenario, the extras will be extra-special on Blu-ray."
That's not set in stone however, with Kirkman explaining "we’re trying to explore some other more interesting options, but that’s the bare minimum of what we’ll be doing.” Director and executive producer Greg Nicotero has also inferred strongly that Negan's season finale entrance has been shot two ways already ("That would be a good guess"). So we know a version of Negan exists on screen in a way that's faithful to the books. We just have to wait to see how AMC choose to let us see it.
The Walking Dead season 6 is currently airing at 9pm on Sundays on AMC in the US, and a day later on Sky Atlantic in the UK.
Images: Texas Rising/Image Comics